Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Preview: "300" Prepares to Conquer Multiplexes

by | March 8, 2007 | Comments

For the first time in nearly a month, North America’s most popular movie won’t be about motorcycles. Warner Bros. goes back in time 2,500 years for the epic war saga "300" which aims to conquer the box office with ease.

Other studios have conceded the frame to the effects-driven actioner as the only other film opening wide is the family drama "The Ultimate Gift" which will cater to a non-violent crowd that prefers to keep decapitations to a minimum in their weekend entertainment.

Two and a half years after running the historical epic genre into the ground with "Alexander," Warner Bros. is back to breathe new life into the industry with "300." The R-rated war film stars Gerard Butler as the Greek king who in 480 B.C. led his small battalion of brave soldiers in battle against the mighty Persian army. Directed by Zack Snyder ("Dawn of the Dead"), "300" is based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and features stylized action sequences and a visual look unlike the endless line of epics that hit multiplexes a few years ago.

Warner Bros. got the ball rolling early last fall with exciting trailers that really energized the target audience of male action fans who now will be very satisfied by the amount of blood, gore, and female nudity in the picture. Momentum has been building ever since and today, "300" is an event film for many. The film lacks a marquee star but that should not matter much. The unique look and feel should compensate for that as moviegoers will find the film to be worth paying top dollar for to see on the big screen. This is not one to wait for on DVD. And unlike other epics, this one keeps it just under two hours which will allow theaters to offer enough showtimes per day. The marketplace is ready for "300." Aside from "Ghost Rider" which is going into its fourth lap, there will be little direct competition for "300" to face so King Leonidas and his men should prevail in this battle.

Other effects-driven R-rated action films have found success recently in the spring months. In 2005, Keanu Reeves‘ "Constantine" bowed to $29.8M and "Sin City" opened to $29.1M while last March "V for Vendetta" debuted with $25.6M. All three films ended in the $70-76M range. "300" looks like it has the strength to go higher. The marketing has been brilliant, competition is weak, and excitement is high. Warner Bros. will score its first number one opener of the year with "300" which invades 3,103 theaters, including Imax venues which will add a few extra bucks. A Friday-to-Sunday gross of about $38M could result.

"300," finally in theaters.

Fox Faith, the new wing of Twentieth Century Fox dedicated to films with uplifting religious themes, rolls out its family drama "The Ultimate Gift" starring James Garner, Brian Dennehy, and Abigail Breslin who comes straight from her high profile Oscar nomination for "Little Miss Sunshine." Based on the best-selling book, the PG-rated film tells the story of a young man who instead of getting his expected inheritance after the death of his wealthy grandfather, is given a series of challenges to help him build character and learn what is truly important in life. Grassroots marketing is being used to court the faith-based audience and a dollar from every ticket sold will be donated to one of a number of different charities. Still, the film is not being given a marketing blitz so large numbers are not expected. Opening in over 800 theaters, "The Ultimate Gift" may gross about $3M this weekend.

"The Ultimate Gift," with Abigail Breslin.

After opening almost everywhere else in the world, the hit Korean horror film "The Host" makes its ways to American shores through Magnolia Pictures this weekend. The R-rated creature feature debuts in about 70 theaters and has been garnering impressive reviews since its premiere last May at the Cannes Film Festival. Fox Searchlight platforms its family saga "The Namesake" from director Mira Nair ("Monsoon Wedding," "Vanity Fair") in six theaters in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto. Starring Kal Penn, the PG-13 film about the struggles of an Indian-American family will expand weekly throughout the rest of the month.

"The Namesake"

After three weeks of motorcycle flicks ruling the box office, a stylized trip back in time with "300" will come as a welcome change of pace. "Wild Hogs," which powered its way to a surprisingly potent $39.7M bow last weekend, will drop out of pole position. With little direct competition, look for a reasonable dip in sales. The Buena Vista release has been a crowdpleaser and will remain the top choice for moviegoers in the mood for a laugh or anything with big Hollywood stars. A 35% decline could result giving "Hogs" a weekend tally of around $26M and a ten-day cume of $74M.

Paramount’s serial killer pic "Zodiac" got off to a moderate start last weekend and will have another R-rated film aimed at adults to deal with. A drop of 40% may occur putting the murder mystery at $8M for a total of only $25M after ten days. Sony’s "Ghost Rider" will become the first member of the 2007 century club and should fall 45% to $6M for a $103M cume. The Nicolas Cage pic is set to take a serious hit thanks to 300.

LAST YEAR: The Matthew McConaugheySarah Jessica Parker romantic comedy "Failure to Launch" debuted at number one leading a new crop of films with $24.4M. The Paramount release found its way to $88.7M. Opening in second place was the Tim Allen kidpic "The Shaggy Dog" with $16.3M followed closely by the new horror flick "The Hills Have Eyes" with $15.7M. Final grosses reached $61.1M and $41.8M, respectively. The Bruce Willis actioner "16 Blocks" dropped to fourth with $7.4M. After two weeks at the top of the charts, the Tyler Perry comedy "Madea’s Family Reunion" tumbled from first to fifth with $5.7M.

Source: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

vampires GIFs E! Vudu TNT Binge Guide The Walking Dead Kids & Family book streaming diversity reboot anthology based on movie Video Games stand-up comedy Disney name the review RT21 cartoon science fiction Dark Horse Comics Anna Paquin LGBTQ ESPN indiana jones Cartoon Network Ovation christmas movies Crackle aliens Mindy Kaling cooking Christmas YouTube Red zombies Comics on TV sequel 007 Epix 2017 joker cults Polls and Games spinoff OneApp Showtime hist doctor who crime thriller richard e. Grant what to watch The Witch Bravo Chernobyl slashers Adult Swim Film Festival CW Seed Amazon Studios Superheroe romantic comedy spy thriller strong female leads anime Travel Channel ratings Columbia Pictures Podcast 2018 news Lifetime medical drama singing competition President FXX TCA Opinion south america Trophy Talk Quiz animated halloween cats Extras Certified Fresh The CW Universal Baby Yoda Heroines franchise nature quibi natural history YouTube Pop documentary kids canceled TLC YA Best and Worst IFC Films Premiere Dates Country CNN Holidays 4/20 Musicals Schedule Masterpiece Ellie Kemper Marathons finale criterion VICE Mudbound Tomatazos Martial Arts Musical documentaries latino HBO Max comedies serial killer historical drama Sci-Fi Marvel Studios SDCC Emmy Nominations theme song Black Mirror spider-man Interview award winner tv talk Thanksgiving 45 crime independent Awards Tour Paramount SundanceTV Television Academy comics Photos First Reviews die hard Teen child's play Superheroes dragons Sundance TV mission: impossible Nominations harry potter Amazon Prime Song of Ice and Fire cancelled CBS All Access Rocketman concert Paramount Network movie Winners zero dark thirty Apple TV+ 21st Century Fox scary movies Pet Sematary twilight ITV Sony Pictures Starz See It Skip It Reality Competition MTV Trailer ABC Fantasy First Look political drama adaptation Comedy Central films comic miniseries Amazon Spike Captain marvel dogs TCA 2017 Syfy Drama Esquire VOD game show Sundance Now BET Awards Tarantino Tumblr Rock a nightmare on elm street unscripted critics FX on Hulu Holiday ABC Family spanish language dceu Watching Series witnail X-Men sports sitcom social media USA Mystery Horror Shudder Super Bowl BBC One Toys Stephen King TIFF Women's History Month casting Star Wars mockumentary biography Spectrum Originals reviews video Hear Us Out festivals universal monsters Netflix Writers Guild of America The Purge TV renewals Awards Nickelodeon disaster Apple TV Plus psychological thriller Year in Review Lionsgate rotten movies we love Britbox Endgame werewolf Comic Book Film Summer BBC America VH1 Marvel MSNBC Fox News robots Discovery Channel Ghostbusters Logo GoT Mary Poppins Returns cops Winter TV versus television cars Star Trek romance IFC AMC psycho GLAAD asian-american Acorn TV DC Comics game of thrones technology Mary Tyler Moore NYCC directors Reality free movies Rom-Com 2020 Mary poppins Apple comiccon Disney Plus History San Diego Comic-Con crime drama Pixar Academy Awards PlayStation Fall TV teaser NBC El Rey Elton John Action binge Turner CBS CMT golden globes parents DC Universe green book elevated horror TV Land YouTube Premium Sneak Peek ghosts blockbuster Election Emmys HBO Go video on demand cancelled TV shows TCM Valentine's Day thriller Turner Classic Movies Crunchyroll composers screenings best cancelled TV series 24 frames Oscars Pride Month supernatural Countdown Brie Larson 20th Century Fox Hallmark Marvel Television Disney Channel 2016 Calendar screen actors guild space blaxploitation RT History Comedy discovery dc The Arrangement Set visit DC streaming service series Biopics adventure mutant HBO TV indie police drama dramedy Trivia breaking bad TBS foreign Cannes Box Office WGN Character Guide Sundance boxoffice Spring TV Cosplay children's TV Western facebook war MCU Creative Arts Emmys Grammys 2015 revenge DGA satire 71st Emmy Awards TCA Winter 2020 APB Disney streaming service Walt Disney Pictures chucky Avengers Lucasfilm FOX zombie Freeform Peacock docudrama Pop TV BET USA Network renewed TV shows Arrowverse New York Comic Con dark WarnerMedia Shondaland transformers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt canceled TV shows Nat Geo DirecTV Family Animation Funimation BAFTA period drama Amazon Prime Video Netflix Christmas movies Pirates travel Lifetime Christmas movies 2019 batman talk show cinemax LGBT Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stoner FX PBS sag awards crossover American Society of Cinematographers Hallmark Christmas movies Disney+ Disney Plus Tubi Rocky movies National Geographic Music BBC TruTV PaleyFest toy story E3 jamie lee curtis all-time A24 spain cancelled television hispanic OWN Infographic Hulu Black History Month politics Warner Bros. justice league Red Carpet A&E Classic Film SXSW true crime Food Network